Boeing launches 4th Earth-observation satellite for Italy
Boeing on Nov. 5, successfully launched the last in a series of four SkyMed spacecraft for the Italian Constellation of Small Satellites for Mediterranean basin Observation (COSMO). The Delta II rocket brightened the night sky as it launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 7:20 p.m. Pacific time. The COSMO spacecraft was deployed approximately 58 minutes after liftoff.
"We are delighted to have met the requirements of our Thales Alenia Space customer with this mission," said Ken Heinly, director, Boeing Launch Products & Services, and president, Boeing Launch Services Inc. "This fourth Delta launch for the COSMO-SkyMed program continues the unparalleled reliability and accurate performance of the Delta II rocket with 93 consecutive successful launches since 1997."
The Delta II rocket, procured from United Launch Alliance for Thales Alenia Space, was the 350th Delta rocket launch in the program's 50 year history.
Thales Alenia Space developed the COSMO-SkyMed program for the Italian Space Agency and the Italian Ministry of Defence. It is an end-to-end Earth-observation, civil and military system comprising four medium-sized satellites as well as supporting ground stations that provide orbit control systems, data reception and processing. The system will take images of the Earth with an instrument capable of operating in all visibility conditions.